Jessica Lane, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lois Merrell has a new family: four adorable baby red cardinals.
Merrell's daughter, Kathy, moved a small hanging plant from the railing on Merrell's porch to a hook on the porch's ceiling. Shortly after, Merrell discovered four tiny eggs.
"They were about as big around as the tip of your finger," Merrell said.
Soon, Merrell was the proud porch-mama to four wiggly bird babies.
Mom and Dad Cardinal have stayed close by the front porch, taking turns caring for the new hatchlings. They are really friendly, Merrell said.
Merrell saved the busy birdie parents the trouble of naming the quartet. She named them Kathy, Amy and Ashley after her girls and Amir after her son-in-law.
Amir the baby bird is a little different, sporting white rather than grey tufts of fine feather fuzz.
It seems Mom and Dad Cardinal made a good decision starting a family on Merrell's front porch. Not only are the young birds protected by the height of the potted plant and Merrell's watchful eye, Merrell has a knack for making bird treats: peanut-butter-covered-pinecones-rolled-in-bird seed.